The Island of Menstruating Men: Religion in Wogeo, New Guinea by Ian  Hogbin
203 pages, $27.95 list
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The Island of Menstruating Men
Religion in Wogeo, New Guinea
Ian Hogbin belongs to anthropology’s heroic age. He was a member of the brilliant between-the-wars generation that included Raymond Firth, Reo Fortune, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Hortense Powdermaker, all of whom pioneered modern field research in the insular South Pacific. The Island of Menstruating Men was a path-breaking exploration of gender in Wogeo when first published. Today it remains an important full-length study of a Melanesian religion, examining it in relation to other facets of culture—mythology, beliefs about illness and death, growth and maturity, magic, social structure, and morality. It is an articulate, insightful examination of the meaning of tradition and of the integration of culture. It is also a captivating account of ethnocentrism and the Wogeo’s justification for it, exemplifying, in miniature, what appears to be one of the great problems of the human species.
Table of Contents
Preface 1996 (Abraham Rosman)
Foreword (L. L. Langness)
1. Introduction
2. Culture Heroes
3. The Spirit World
4. Taboo
5. Initiation
6. Menstruation and Childbirth
7. Illness and Death
8. Magic
9. Religion and Social Structure
10. The Moral System